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Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020
Home / Movie Reviews / Film review: Shazam! is surprisingly good, says Rashid Irani

Film review: Shazam! is surprisingly good, says Rashid Irani

DC Films is on a roll. Their latest is funny, cheeky and as enjoyable as Wonder Woman was.

movie-reviews Updated: Apr 05, 2019 14:10 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
The plot revolves around a 14-year-old foster child (Asher Angel) who is magically transformed into an invincible adult every time he shouts the word Shazam.
The plot revolves around a 14-year-old foster child (Asher Angel) who is magically transformed into an invincible adult every time he shouts the word Shazam.
         
SHAZAM!
  • Direction: David F Sandberg
  • Actors: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer
  • Rating: 3.5 / 5

A wish-fulfillment superhero fantasy based on one of the earliest DC Comics characters (created in 1939 and initially known as — no kidding — Captain Marvel), Shazam! is surprisingly good — as immensely enjoyable, in fact, as Wonder Woman was.

The plot is a throwback to the body-switching comedies (Big) and adolescent adventures (Trading Places) of the 1980s, and focuses on a 14-year-old foster child (Asher Angel, charismatic) living with a foster family in Philadelphia. Every time he shouts the word Shazam, he is magically transformed into an invincible adult. (Incidentally, Shazam is an acronym for six heroes of antiquity — Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury.)

Mark Strong plays Dr Sivana , a mad scientist capable of having multiple incarnations.
Mark Strong plays Dr Sivana , a mad scientist capable of having multiple incarnations.

Soon enough, his supersized alter-ego (Zachary Levi, convincing) is tasked with confronting the forces of evil in the guise of a megalomaniac (Mark Strong) capable of unleashing the ghoulish avatars of the seven deadly sins.

It’s a playful plot given a comedic slant by, surprise surprise, director David F Sandberg, the horror aficionado behind Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation. The supporting cast features a couple of scene-stealing turns by Faithe Herman (as the wise-beyond-her-years foster sister) and Jack Dylan Grazer (as the geeky sidekick). Shazam! is a film for the fun-loving. I say go see it.